O Day Full of Grace

O Day Fulll of Grace color

A popular prayer in our congregational life at Salem is, “Thank you, Lord, for another day of grace.”  Our stewardship emphasis at Salem this fall begins in October under the theme “O Day Full of Grace.”

How often do we take the time to pause and think that each day is a day of grace, living in God’s goodness and blessed beyond measure?

Swiss physician Paul Tournier in his classic The Meaning of Gifts puts it this way:  “There comes a day when we understand that all is of grace, that the whole world is a gift of God, a completely generous gift.  We see each flower, each drop of water, each minute of our life as a gift of God.  [God] gives them to all, both those who know [God] and to those who are ignorant of [God].”

“God gives because God loves.  God gives to us because God loves us.” writes Lutheran Professor Mark Allen Powell in Giving to God.  “And when we give our offerings to God as an act of worship we reflect that love.  We love God back.”  We have each been blessed with time, talents and treasures to a degree that would astonish most people in the world and would be the envy of even royalty in the past.  We are blessed in God’s grace.

During our capital campaign back in 2004, in putting together funding for our new worship space, Pastor John Cross, our fundraising consultant, suggested that part of the stewardship process is “stewing” over God’s blessings to us and how we will respond to God’s grace.

On Oct. 19, we had a “STEW-ing on Grace” Sunday@4 event to kickoff our stewardship emphasis.  We pondered God’s gifts and begin our STEW-ing over how we will respond.  We distributed this year’s stewardship materials.  Following the stewardship presentation, we enjoyed various stews prepared by members of our congregations.

We have been STEW-ing as our stewardship commitment has similar ingredients to the wonderful stew we enjoyed — ourselves (the meat), our time, talent and treasure (the vegetables) and a prayerful consideration of the days of grace we are blessed with (the liquid).  Our STEW-ing will end on Commitment Sunday, Nov. 9, as we present our pledge offerings in gratefulness for another day of grace.